Celebrating life events

It’s been more than two years since Sarah Willis last joined the Girls Around Town to describe her role as a civil celebrant

As she explained then, although she’s called on to celebrate various other life events, as a member of the Institute of Civil Funerals she’s conducted literally hundreds of such ceremonies since 2007.

A good funeral is one that gives thanks for a life, whether short or long. It can bring comfort but, when we’re at our lowest ebb, the planning it involves can seem daunting…

Sarah’s job is to work with the family to help ensure that this final act focusses on their loved one. “Civil funerals all about choice,” she says. “With guidance from me, the family members plan the ceremony themselves and choose whether or not to have any spiritual or religious content.

“It can be held anywhere and can include songs, music, readings, poems, eulogies and even slideshows. But at the heart of it all is a written tribute telling the story of the person who has died and celebrating his or her character, beliefs and achievements.”

Tune in or listen online between 10am and 12 noon on Sunday when Sarah returns to the studio to tell June and Rachel how she puts her writing, story-telling and public speaking skills to good use in her role as a civil celebrant, whether it’s for a funeral, a naming ceremony or a renewal of vows.

By the book

The Newark Book Festival returns to town next weekend and once again the Girls Around Town will be reporting live on this local celebration of the very best in literature and the arts.

Eleven venues in and around Newark are taking part in this year’s programme, which features everything from author events to panels, crime and contemporary fiction to history and a range of fun activities for younger visitors.

June and Rachel will be in the studio on Sunday, waiting for the latest news from Rosalyn as she catches up with some of the exhibitors and visitors in the Literature Quarter in the Market Place.

Tune in or listen online from 10am to 12 noon to find out how things went on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 July and, even more importantly, what’s still to come on Sunday 15 July.

In the meantime, you can pick up a brochure in local libraries and other venues in Newark or check out the full programme of events on the Festival website